The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything about the way people live and interact. It has even changed the way people go about renting apartments. If you are looking for a new rental at this time, here are a few tips you can employ to help you find the perfect spot.
1. Take virtual tours of apartments when possible.
Visiting 15 different apartments in person has the potential to put you in contact with a lot of people, which means a lot of potential for disease spread. See if landlords are willing to take you on a virtual tour of their apartments instead. They will often be just as happy to reduce their potential exposure as you are. The landlord can simply walk through the apartment, phone in hand, sharing video with you as they go. If you want to look more closely at something, just ask them to zoom in. You can at least narrow down your apartment choices to two or three this way, and the only go see those few apartments in-person.
2. Take your future income into account.
If you have any doubts as to the stability of your job in the pandemic, or if you are worried your hours or income may be cut in the coming months, then opt for an apartment that is well within your budget. This is not the time to splurge on a luxury apartment. It's better to rent something cheaper that you know you'll be able to afford even if your income is drastically reduced.
3. Choose an apartment in a less-busy area.
This is probably not the best time to move into a busy apartment building with a bunch of neighbors. If someone gets COVID-19, the rest of the community will be at risk. Instead, look for an apartment that is a part of a duplex or quadplex. The fewer neighbors you have, the more easily you can stay socially isolated — which is a smart choice for reduced disease transmission even when not explicitly required.
4. Sign everything electronically.
Passing around papers signing paperwork is a good way to pass on germs. When you do find a place, ask if it is okay for you to sign the lease and other associated paperwork electronically. Alternatively, you could print out your own copy of the lease, sign it, scan it, and send a scanned copy to the landlord.
Keep the tips above in mind when looking for apartment rentals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Best of luck to you.
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